153

One for All: Optimism

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
This is the second album by One for All, an all-star group of young jazz veterans totally steeped in the hard bop tradition and group dynamic of the classic ensembles of Art Blakey and Horace Silver. Eric Alexander, the rising tenor sax phenom, and Peter Washington, the talented and ubiquitous bassist, are probably the best known players here, but all the band's members are respected figures on the New York scene with long lists of impressive credits. (Trombonist Steve Davis, for example, played in the last Jazz Messengers group and is a member of Jackie McLean's sextet. Not too shabby.) And these guys really know what they're doing, whether it's reworking standards like "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," "What Kind of Fool Am I?" and "These Foolish Things," or tearing through a number of hard bop burners.

The band features a three-horn front line of Alexander, Davis, and trumpeter Joe Rotondi, with a rhythm section of David Hazeltine on piano, Joe Farnsworth on drums, and Washington on bass. All are first-rate players and are given plenty of opportunity to shine as soloists, with Alexander and Hazeltine making particularly noteworthy contributions.

The originals include two by Alexander and one each by Rotondi, Hazeltine, and Davis. The standout tunes are Davis' high-energy "Optimism" and trumpeter Rotondi's "The Prevaricator," which recalls, in its title and ferocious style, the 1960s compositions (think "The Sidewinder," "The Procrastinator," "The Rumproller") of hard-bop trumpet giant Lee Morgan. Alexander's "Straight Up" is a free-for-all blowin' session that gives the whole band room to strut its stuff.

For fun, and a decided change of pace, the group also offers a funky, slow groove take on "Stranger in Moscow," a song written by, of all people, Michael Jackson (yes, that Michael Jackson). I guess if Miles could record the gloved one ("Human Nature"), why not...


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Up and Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Up and Coming
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "The Day After" CD/LP/Track Review The Day After
by David A. Orthmann
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Genesis" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Zentuary" CD/LP/Track Review Zentuary
by John Kelman
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!